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Letters from Europe
Macedonians Pay Attention to Fashion Afresh
By Antonina Veljanovska
EU Correspondent
A Macedonian model of Elena Luka fashion house walks on stage at Skopje Fashion Week held previously in the Balkan country.
People in Macedonia began to show more interest in their outfit or fashion with youngsters paying keen attention to the fashion trends of the world. Now the fashion scenes in the Balkan country are totally different from a few years back.

The fashion scene in Macedonia is small and it lacks many things — from fashion events that would be a challenge for fashion designers, to opportunities to place products. The fact is that over the years we work individually and everyone moves within their capabilities and places products.

Experts say that for the Macedonian creations to be dominant on the market, the financial power of the consumers is also important, so that the current situation is a combination of several situations.

There is not a single designer in Macedonia who is a member of Chambre Syndical, and also no designer has sold a dress at a price of 30,000 euros and has not walked his collections at the haute couture shows in Paris.

Thus, it follows this definition, there is no high fashion in Macedonia. In the main city of Macedonia, Skopje, there is no Skopje couture week either.

But, on the other hand, haute couture is not just a membership in the mentioned union. The essence is handmade and tailor-made. Also, maximum commitment to the client and satisfaction of his every wish.

The very term haute couture means creating exclusive clothes that are primarily tailored to the client of the highest quality materials and workmanship that is often done by hand. This is the way many Macedonian designers aspire.

Here, haute couture dresses are in demand for weddings, and less for other events. Missing presentation of haute couture by our stars is missing. Therefore, for now the presentation is done only at fashion shows and editorials.

When haute couture is mentioned for many, the association is John Galliano and his lavish creations. For all of us, he is a supreme virtuoso who took us away from reality, in the world of fairy tales.

But, not every fashion is expensive dresses, there are those who consider the old costumes for the fashion in Macedonia. In the country, the first attempt at couture is the Macedonian folk costume. 18th and 19th century women are a typical example of haute couture.

It starts with the material, it is made first. Women spin wool, then dye it, weave it to create a masterpiece. Those housewives, from what can be seen how the dresses are made, are world-class designers for haute couture, but are not totally unknown. Numerous museums around the world testify to that.

In the field of fashion, the making of the Macedonian folk costume, regardless of whether it is men's, women's or children's, is a complete handmade and completely corresponds to what is the essence of high fashion.

Although the Macedonian traditional clothes are very much avoided, as if it is something that is not ours. Rarely today does anyone wear ornaments or embroidery (priceless diamonds of the homeland) that are nowhere in the world.

Imagine, in the past, costumes were an integral part of clothing, but the uniqueness of its painstaking creation made people specially dressed, different. An unsurpassed style icon, the poet Svetlana Hristova-Jocic was a special diamond, using the folklore of her clothes.

World fashion brands are brands with a long tradition, at least many of them. At the same time, most of them invest big money. Macedonia is a small market that is difficult to compete with bigger overseas market.

Therefore there are many of Macedonia designers who work abroad rather than in their own country.

However, the Balkans is a place that always arouses interest, including the fashion world. There are world fashion designers who have been guests here in the Balkans, and they seemed to aware that they have consumers here as well.

The fashion house Elena Luka works really tirelessly. she said that new models are constantly prepared and she is also preparing new fashion accessories.

"So, for creativity and artistic freedom and courage, there are no limits. If you believe in what you do and what you want, you will succeed,” said Elena Luka, the most famous fashion designer from Macedonia. “I think that the fashion in Macedonia is a bit neglected and without enough respect and attention by the Macedonian citizens."

Modeling in Macedonia normally brings money if one model is maximally committed to this profession, but not enough. It can not be compared with other markets where the figures are much higher, of course their standard.

Modeling is not respected enough in the country. There are many factors that affect earnings in Macedonian fashion industry.

In Macedonia, the domestic designers should be promoted and developed more. They lack their commitment and professionalism in their fashion profession," said Elena Rei, one of our most famous models in the Balkan country. "That way there would be more work for designers and models, and the fashion scene would develop and grow continuously.”

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Antonina Veljanovska, based in North Macedonia, serves as EU correspondent for The Seoul Times. The Macedonian journalist has written for the local new media. She is interested in the Korean culture including K-Pop and fashion. Her hobbies include reading.






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